Forty-six million years ago, a tiny female mosquito living near present day Montana feasted on an unknown creature. A short time later, the mosquito got caught in an algae-coated lake, was quickly surrounded by microbes and sank to the bottom, completely protected from degrading. Recently, it was discovered by researcher Dale Greenwalt and his team of scientists, and the find appears to be the oldest mosquito with blood inside it ever discovered.
Don’t get too excited, however. A Jurassic Park scenario in which the blood is used to bring the creature back to life is off the table because scientists still have no idea how to extract DNA from a mosquito that old. Plus, even if we could, Dr. Ian Malcolm would tell you that’s not the best idea, probably because of, you guessed it, Chaos Theory.
Still, the finding is very important not only because of its age but because of things we could learn about the fossil down the line. Some day, we could even learn about a new animal thanks to the DNA sitting inside the insect’s stomach. The lake in Montana that produced the finding has already generated some three dozen mosquitos, according to News 24 and more, perhaps even older, fossils could be discovered in the coming years.
For good reason, we tend to remember the major scientific discoveries. We learn about them in classes and discuss how they have altered the way we view the world, but it’s thanks to thousands of little moments like this that men like Einstein, Copernicus and Da Vinci were able to push so far in new directions.
We’ll keep you updated on this research and other projects like it in the coming months and years. Hopefully, the work is able to yield some truly amazing results.
Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.
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